Read: Hebrews 13:20-21
This side of Heaven, we shall never fully understand the scope of God's work in our lives. He often works in us in such a way that we fail to recognize that it is Him. I once heard this referred to as God being "supernaturally natural." Looking back, I can see how He was influencing my thoughts and ambitions when I had no idea it was Him. God began working in our lives and circumstances before we ever knew Him. At the moment we trusted Christ as our Saviour, He began a new work in us, designed to bring glory to Him. With these things
Nothing on this earth will ever satisfy the cravings of your soul. The course of wisdom, then, is to heed Solomon's conclusive advice. Be content with what you have. Solomon again extolled the virtues of simple contentment. What you see, or actually possess, is better than all your roving eye can desire and not possess. Be at peace with what God has given you.
Years ago, my high school gym teacher lined the class up along one side of the football field and told us to run as fast as we could go around the full length of the field. At his signal, I took off at full speed. Most of the way around I was ahead of my class. Just as I was approaching the goal line, I made a big mistake of glancing over my shoulder and saw a fellow within feet of me. Just as I was about to cross the line, he passed me. I broke stride and lost. It has been my joy to pastor seven churches over the last fifty years. It has always been my goal to
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run the best race, as consistently and as faithfully as I know how. As I am approaching the goal line, I do not want to break stride now. What a shame that would be.
Our Commitment - "they which run in a race run all." No one I know went through the motions but "all" ran with great fervor.
The Conviction - "So run that ye may obtain." Two mistakes are sometimes made: not everyone can win, and I do not run to get a prize. Both are wrong attitudes! We must run faithfully to the end to obtain the Victors Crown, or an incorruptible crown.
The Condition - "Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things." So many believers today are lethargic about their Christian life, then they wonder why they never feel good and excited about the things of the Lord.
The Conclusion - "Lest...I myself should be a castaway." Too many Christians have become "castaways." It can happen to you or me, by taking your eyes off the goal or by letting up, even for a moment. Please don't break stride! Keep your eyes on Christ and His soon coming!
~ Pastor David J. Nichols, Berean Baptist Church, Ashton, ID - From "Call to Glory" A Devotional Guide
Read: Ecclesiastes 6:9
in mind, we should consider how it is that we may ever become what we are supposed to be or do what we are saved to do. Who is it that enables us? Is it up to us to make ourselves what He wants us to be? Are we somehow capable of performing in such a way that He will be pleased?
Our Scripture tells us that it is God "working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight." It is His work in us that is of greater importance, not our work for Him. The only way that we can be well pleasing in His sight is for Him to do the work in us. Knowing this, we should ask, "How much is God doing in me? Am I allowing or expecting Him to work in me? How much do I want God to work in me?"
There are many who mistakenly believe that our labor in God's kingdom is the same thing as His work in us or through us. We can actually be busy doing good things that may not be His will, or doing them in our own energy, rather than through the power of the Spirit of God. When He does the work in and through us, then He gets the "glory forever and ever."
~ Pastor Robert A. Sorensen, Bethany Baptist Church, Ava, MO - From "Call to Glory" A Devotional Guide
Contentment is the only answer to the problem of the insatiable appetite. Only contentment can conquer the constant craving for more. Craving more and more is meaningless -- futile, unsatisfying. Do not unreasonably expect that the appetite can ever be filled. A bigger house will not make you happy forever. More money in the bank is not the answer. One more indulgence in a fleshly pleasure will not satisfy you -- not for long. A promotion will never give you all the respect you crave. Do not expect them to. Recognizing and acknowledging this limitation is the first step to finding true contentment. Solomon's prescription of contentment as the medicine for man's insatiable desires is easy to say, but it is not so easy to become content. How can we truly be content? What is the key to contentment?
The answer to the question is this: contentment must be learned. This is what Paul taught us in his letter to the Philippians. Philippians 4:11-12, "Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." Are you content or are you seeking contentment? Jesus is the answer.
~ Dr. David N. Smeltz, Missionary Evangelist to Eastern Europe and Asia - From "Call to Glory" A Devotional Guide